Please type more than three letters in your search query

Divorce and school fees

top family solicitor

School Fees Order – setting the facts straight


The wife of DIY SOS TV star Nick Knowles has recently reported to the media that he has refused to pay the school fees for their 3 year old son, Eddie. The article appears in the Sun and has several factual issues included, which I feel compelled to set straight. These are as follows:-

  1. There is no automatic right for the other spouse to pay your legal fees if you want to bring an application to Court.

    Most cases follow the norm in that both parties in an application to do with finances within divorce proceedings will pay their own legal fees. In some cases, you can try and recover your legal fees from the other person at the end of the case if you succeed in your application but only in certain circumstances. Even then it’s not guaranteed you will recover 100% of your costs. In some cases, you can apply for a “legal services order” where you are asking the court to order that the other spouse pays for your legal fees. There are a number of factors the court will take in to account first but before making the application they would expect you to look at other sources of funding first, for example applying for a litigation loan. There are a number of specialist companies that provide loans for legal fees specifically relating to divorce cases. As you family solicitor we can assist with getting these loans in place.

  2. The reasons why a marriage breaks down does not have any bearing on the financial outcome.

    The wife in this situation has made a number of allegations against her ex-husband including “intimidation, emotional cruelty, abuse and isolation” which led to the breakdown of the marriage. . Making such allegations of this nature won’t make any difference to the outcome of the application she may want to make for a school fees order. The conduct has to be extreme for it to be taken in to account, for example a spouse secretly squandering the matrimonial pot on prostitutes.

  3. Ordinarily school fees would be paid directly to the school.
  4. The media would not be allowed access to private law family court proceedings where money and children are discussed.

    Ideally these type of issues should be kept private and away from the media.  No doubt by contacting the media to make public statements such as this will now only serve the purpose of inflaming matters and they may be less likely to settle amicably. One must also remember there is a small child caught up in all of this, with both parents being named in the press as well as his own name and photos.

If you would like to receive expert legal advice about financial claims in a divorce, including school fees order from a reputable family law firm then please contact one of our Associate Solicitors, Kirsten Tomlinson on 01625 544 650 or email

We have a large team and we can offer family law advice at any of our locations as follows:-

Wilmslow         01625 544650

Knutsford        01565 648228

London            0207 9474219

Manchester     0161 8048441


For specialist advice on any family law related issue contact Maguire Family Law by email: or telephone:

Contact Us